The dying moments of that hill repeat or interval on the turbo trainer, the holding the wheel in the racing peloton. Your legs burn, you can feel your heart pounding in your chest, and sweat drips from the tip of your nose. Other than the pain searing through your body, the main thing occupying your mind is the desire to stop. It would be so easy. Just stop turning the pedals and it will all be over. But you don’t allow it. You continue to inflict the hurt.
Sometimes, as those all-too slow seconds pass, you consider what most other people are doing with their day. Maybe having a leisurely bacon sandwich in front of the weekend morning cookery shows, or enjoying an early evening glass of wine before a weekday meal. That would be nice, wouldn’t it? But you always go back for more.
You hit lap on your bike computer, interval complete, race finished, summit crested. Within minutes, the burn has subsided and the elation kicks in. As you look back on your effort, buzzing with adrenaline and endorphins, you’re desperate to do it again. This is Type Two Fun. The fun that can only be appreciated after the event.
Then, you’re out in the sun on an easy ride the next day, tapping around at the easiest of paces. The sun shines and you luxuriate in the fresh air and sounds of nature. It feels liberating to ride slowly; you take in the views, freed from staring at numbers on a tiny computer screen on your handlebars or watching the wheels in front of you. You let your mind wonder, coming up with those brilliant ideas that vanish from your head as quickly as they appear. This is Type One fun. This is why we started riding bikes, the liberating experience of effortless speed and wind on your face.
However, as the minutes of effortless spinning pass by, your mind strays.
Maybe just one effort. One sprint for that town sign. A quick trip up and over that hill your mates told you about.
The lure of Type Two Fun perhaps pulls at your heartstrings more strongly than its easy, innocent cousin, Type One Fun. However, they rely on each other. Without those easy rides, the adrenaline shot of the hard stuff isn’t possible. And after those agonising training sessions, races or big events, you need the recovery spin to clear your mind and refresh the passion for more of the hurt.
You think back to your childhood, riding around in endless circles in your back garden on your first bike; the one with stabilisers on both sides. If only you knew what this joyous activity would turn into. As the bike got bigger, the muscles got stronger, and you realised how fast and far you could go. Type One Fun became inextricably linked with Type Two Fun.
Type Two Fun. We bet you’re thinking about it right now.